Spoon, billiard shooting. Or really just two members of Spoon, the rock band from Texas: Britt Daniel, the singer and songwriter, and Jim Eno, the drummer. They were at a West Village pool hall called the Cellar Dog, formerly the Fat Cat, which Daniel had discovered one night a few years ago when the wait to get into a few other nearby jazz clubs was too long. . Spoon had a scheduled appearance the next day on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” and another after that at the Hammerstein Ballroom. But now they had time to kill – an idle afternoon on tour.
Daniel and Eno ordered pints and got a table. Eno took a few tails off a rack and rolled them on the felt. In one corner, a pair of, shall we say, Bulgarian dudes in tight pants played a fierce game of ping-pong. The loudspeakers blasted DJ Drama: “Stop being friendly to fuckboys, stop being friendly to fuckboys.” Daniel punctured, Eno broke.
Daniel, blonde, lean and a little scruffy, wore gray jeans, a Joe Strummer T-shirt and a green denim jacket. Eno, dark-haired, stockier, with a hard-to-place George Clooney vibe around his eyes, wore black jeans, a black shirt and a black denim jacket. They had been in bands together for thirty years, all but two in Spoon.
Had they ever argued?
“Hmm, constant falls, right?” Daniel said. Eno burst out laughing. “Never a big one,” Daniel continued. “But I definitely pissed Jim off.”
“I pissed you off too.”
“Probably. When we met we were young, and I’m definitely a jerk sometimes, but less often than before.
“I don’t think you’re really an asshole.”
“I was a jerk the other day, and I apologized to you.”
“I didn’t even think twice about it.”
“That wouldn’t have happened when we first met.”
“I probably would have spent a lot of time there. And you probably wouldn’t apologize.
As for the offense, Daniel said, “He was the one asking if we…I don’t know if I can explain it.
“I can,” Eno said smiling. “You want me to do it?”
It’s not necessary.
Eno was better at billiards than Daniel. He more or less ran the table, in a self-effacing way. He is five years older than Daniel, who turned fifty-one the next day. Daniel, from Temple, Texas, grew up in a sufficiently religious family that the name of Spoon’s latest album, “Lucifer on the Sofa”, was problematic at home. “I planned for weeks how to tell my mom about the title,” he said.
Originally from Rhode Island, Eno moved to Houston after college to work as a computer engineer at Compaq. A job at Motorola designing microprocessors and a desire to make music brought him to Austin in 1992, where he and Daniel, a student at the University of Texas, played in a rockabilly band called Alien Beats. .
“I didn’t start playing drums until I was twenty-one,” Eno said. “I always asked for drums growing up.”
“Really?” Daniel said.
“My parents, they used to say, ‘It’s too loud.’ My mother still feels bad.
“Interesting. I didn’t know that. You couldn’t play in the garage?
“They just didn’t want it.” Instead, he bought chopsticks and used up the upholstery on the couch. “They were, like, ‘It’s just another fad.’ ”
“What were the other modes? Daniel asked. “Raslin? »
“I can’t think of any other fashionable things.”
The bullets had jammed in a way that made almost any shot impossible. Daniel did the thing where you sit on the edge of the table and shoot your back. Eventually, Eno sank the eight ball. On the other side of the room, musicians were setting up. Guitar, organ, drums. The organ, a B-3, lives at the Cellar Dog. Eno and Daniel dragged a number, then returned to their hotel to rest.
The next day, they were on their way with the rest of Spoon in a van for “The Late Show” when a producer called to inform them that Eno and a bandmate had tested positive for covid. They turned around and isolated themselves at their hotel. The concert has been cancelled. The following three concerts have been postponed. Not really a birthday for Daniel. A week later, at their first comeback show, in Chicago, he lost his voice – not covidsaid the swab – and they had to reprogram again.
“It turned into a very strange tour that might not be profitable,” Daniel said. (Hammerstein date moved to May 6.) “You add a week’s worth of wages, hotels, bus fares, gas. It’s a bit of a mess. »
Eno said: “The idea that it would bring everything to a halt is always hard for me to deal with. And I had plenty of time to think about it. ♦